PREVIEW: Loughborough MCCU vs Lancashire
Loughborough MCCU vs Lancashire
Loughborough MCC Universities v Lancashire, friendly
Brockington Ground, University campus
Friday April 5 - Sunday April 7, 11am
With Lancashire starting their Specsavers County Championship campaign a week later than a number of other counties, Glen Chapple's side head down to the East Midlands for their first hit out on home soil against Loughborough MCC Universities.
The Red Rose faced the students this time last year and drew a game which was weather affected on days one and three.
Although that one was a first-class fixture, this is not.
The first two rounds of University fixtures have first-class status, and Loughborough have already played Leicestershire and Kent over the last couple of weeks.
Red Rose Head Coach Glen Chapple is planning on fielding a strong side against the students as he prepares for next week’s Championship opener against Middlesex at Lord’s, although he does have a number of fitness concerns in the fast bowling department with Tom Bailey, Richard Gleeson, Toby Lester and Liam Hurt all currently injured.
Captain Dane Vilas has arrived and is available after a winter playing domestic cricket at home in South Africa, while overseas Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is in line to make his debut.
England Test star Jimmy Anderson is also likely to play.
Matthew Parkinson revealed earlier this week he is bowling pain free after suffering a nasty jaw injury, which required plastic surgery, on the county’s pre-season tour of Dubai late last month.
Loughborough were beaten by an innings and 220 runs at Leicester last week and then drew with Kent at Canterbury earlier this week.
Chris Sanders, who has played second-team cricket for Lancashire in 2017 and 2018, is likely to open the bowling and bat in the middle to lower order for the students.
Sanders, from Bramhall, has played for the Red Rose since under 15s level and is studying politics at Loughborough.
He claimed a wicket apiece against Leicestershire and Kent, bowling Paul Horton against the Foxes.
While Loughborough lost heavily to Leicester, they did manage to secure a first-innings lead of one at Kent in reply to 247-9 declared. Opener Louis Kimber and captain Adam Tillcock hit 62 and 60 apiece.
They are coached by Leicestershire stalwart Russell Cobb, while they list Sam Billings and Monty Panesar amongst their most notable alumni.
Lancashire dominated last year’s clash, but rain denied them the chance to push for victory on day three.
Saqib Mahmood claimed three wickets and Graham Onions, Jordan Clark and Parkinson two apiece as the students, who were inserted were bowled out for 220 during the early stages of day two.
Lancashire replied with 369-4, underpinned by Steven Croft’s superb 148 not out and 87 for Vilas.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Lancashire’s pre-season comes to a close with the annual University three-day game, and batsman Keaton Jennings wants to wrap things up with victory heading into Middlesex at Lord’s next weekend.
“For us as a group, we want to go down to Loughborough to try and win,” said the left-hander, who made 44 opening the batting with Alex Davies in last year’s fixture.
“We want to get into a mode where if we are in a situation to win, you want to nail it down. It’s exciting.
“I’ve heard it’s going cold this weekend, so I can’t wait to stand out in the slips in one or two degrees That makes a change from Dubai at 35!
“We are getting down to it now.
“Very soon points are going to matter, and we need to put in performances.”
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